Biting back at humans with climate change

A human disease called dirofilariasis caused by parasitic mosquitoes has been affected by the warmer climate in Russia,  expanding north and east, currently 58° N  (Kondrashin et al., 2022) in both European and Asian Russia.

Researchers developed a map using data from the Russian Meteorological office between 1937 and 2016. The data shows long term average air temperature during July.

They also measured the transmission of the disease and noticed that the season was lasting longer with patients presenting symptoms during autumn and winter.

The disease mostly appears in urban areas which could partly be affected by the urban heat island effect, for example data from the city of Moscow with the region of Moscow between 2013 – 2018. They have compared the spread of the disease in dogs, affected by increasingly warmer temperatures.

To develop public health measures for expanding the monitoring of dirofilariasis they recommend involving municipalities, communities. Combined with latest methods using molecular, biological and geographical analysis.

Kondrashin AV, , Morozova LF , Stepanova EV , Turbabina NA, Maksimova MS,  Morozov AE, Anikina AS, Morozov EN, Global Climate Change and Human Dirofilariasis in Russia, Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 202219(5), 3096; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19053096

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